The Movie Mondays series of free afternoon film screenings continues apace at Middletown Township Public Library, where the keyword for October is “locally-sourced” — as in filmed (in whole or in part) around the highways, hamlets, ivy-covered institutions or barnacle-encrusted pilings of the Garden State.
It’s a slate of four features that kicks off at 2:30 pm this Monday, October 6, with a quiet, quirky, 2003 comedy-drama from writer-director Tom McCarthy: The Station Agent. A pre-Game of Thrones Peter Dinklage stars as Fin, an introverted train buff who’s inherited an isolated old railroad station in the nowheresville netherland of Newfoundland, NJ. Making great use of its Jersey countryside scenery, the intimate indie explores the growing bond between reclusive Fin and his fellow misfits Patricia Clarkson (Six Feet Under) and Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire, Nurse Jackie).
On October 13, Movie Mondays goes old-school with On the Waterfront, Elia Kazan’s Oscar-winning 1954 drama of corruption and courage in the hard-knocks land of the pre-gentrified Hoboken docks. Dynamic young Marlon Brando sizzles the screen with a super supporting cast in the pull-no-punches film that could have, and did, be a contender.
A fellow Best Picture winner — 2001’s A Beautiful Mind — gave Russell Crowe a role of rare complexity in director Ron Howard’s portrait of brilliant but mentally troubled economist John Nash. Bolstered by locations in and around the Princeton University campus, it screens on October 20. The series concludes on October 27 with one of the most giddily bizarre indie hits of the past 15 years — Being John Malkovich. The 1999 rulebook-ripper by screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze throws John Cusack, Cameron Diaz and yes, John Malkovich into a mix that involves interdimensional travel, bad workplaces, caged spouses, puppetry and literal identity theft. And if you’re wondering where New Jersey fits into all of it, there is that wormhole-portal exit that dumps you out on the side of the Turnpike. All screenings occur at 2:30 pm, and there’s no reservation required.